MIGRATION DATA THEMATIC WORKING GROUP
The Free Movement and Migration (FMM) West Africa project seeks to support the development of standardized procedures to collect and process migration-relevant data. The project also supports the ECOWAS Commission in the development of a regional migration profile, providing an overview of migration data and trends in the ECOWAS region.
At the national level, the project will reinforce migration data collection and management capacities and stakeholder coordination in all Member States, through the strengthening of data management tools and approaches, the updating of Migration Profile initiatives in countries where they already exist, and the extension of research and capacity building activities to remaining countries.
FMM West Africa is funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission. It is implemented jointly by the International Organization for Migration, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development and the International Labour Organization.
GUIDELINES AND OPERATIONS
Migration issues continue to occupy international news with mass departures, especially from African to developed countries. To handle this issue by putting migration at the service of development for both the countries of departure and the countries of destination, it is necessary to reorient development policies towards more reliable targets with major development impacts. To achieve this, it is essential to assess the evolution of the situation on the basis of quantified instruments such as migration statistics.
To this end, regional authorities require reliable statistics that are up-to-date and available in time and coverage. Unfortunately, the ECOWAS countries suffer at various levels from the almost complete lack of data on migration. This situation is due to, inter alia, institutional, organizational and technical shortcomings in their production chain of national statistics and most often, very high cost of collecting data. The needs for reliable statistics by decision-makers, at the regional and international levels, have increased in recent years.
The analysis of the root causes for the production of migration data in the Member States led the ECOWAS Commission, with the financial and technical support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to carry out the Diagnostic Study of National Migration Statistics data Collection and Management Systems (IOM / ECOWAS, 2015). As revealed in the Diagnostic Study, comparable statistical data on migration flows are virtually non-existent at the state level.
Similarly, the little data produced on migration is presented in different forms and production methodologies also vary from country to country which does not allow regional and international aggregation and comparability. Statistical production to inform decision-making in the field of migration poses challenges to the region of West African which is already weakened and highly vulnerable. The main challenge is lack of survey on migration and harmonize data collection tools to inform regional indicators and the collection of existing data at the national level.
To address this major challenge, the International Organization for Migration [IOM] through European Union [EU] funding and the Directorate of Research and Statistics have developed tools for data collection and data management to compile regional indicators. At the moment,
National Focal Points have already benefited from a range of technical support ranging from their participation in training workshops to exchanges and sharing of experiences for the harmonization of concepts on migration and the management of migration statistics. In addition, at the regional level, training tools for national trainers have also been designed and delivered for national migration actors as well as a questionnaire for collecting the first national data.
The results already obtained are certainly noble, but the expectations for having migration data on regional indicators are still far from being met. Indeed, several states still have insufficient capacity for the collection and analysis of migration data in accordance with the ECOWAS tool, while for others the lack of synergy between national actors affects quality and availability of data.
The initial phase of using the tool to collect data migration revealed considerable differences among Member States in the production and publication of data according to international standards. Further analysis of responses received from Member States reveal low response rates across indicators. Member States responded on the average of 2 out of 12 indicators for the years 2017 and June 2018. With the support of IOM, the tool is currently being reviewed in order to make it more user-friendly, more flexible, secured and scalable.
This working group aims to:
The adoption of the methodological guide for data filling is very important for harmonizing collection practices and the production of quality, reliable and comparable data at regional and international level.
The expected results are as follows:
ADOPTION OF NEW PRACTICES, COMMON STATISTICAL METHODS AND HARMONISATION WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS
COORDINATION, INFORMATION EXCHANGE AND DECISION MAKING
DATA COLLECTION AND MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
DISSEMINATION OF STATISTICAL OUTPUTS BY THE ECOWAS COMMISSION AND AWARENESS RAISING
ESTABLISHMENT OF A SOUND AND COMPREHENSIVE LEGAL AND POLITICAL FRAMEWORK